Tawheed as Understood by the Philosophers

Since 2008-07-01

By Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan

There are those who say that tawheed is only one category - tawheed ar-ruboobiyyah (rububiyyah - Unity of Allah's Lordship). It is to acknowledge that Allah is the Creator, the Provider, the Bringer of life and death, etc. They only refer to the actions of Allah and to His Attributes. Upon this thought the scholars of philosophy and the independent thinkers have built their 'aqeedah. Their beliefs are found in their books, and if you were to read them, you would surely find that they affirm tawheed ar-ruboobiyyah (rububiyyah - Unity of Allah's Lordship) only. So as far as they are concerned, whoever proclaims awareness of that is someone of tawheed to them. They have no understanding of tawheed al-uloohiyyah (uluhiyyah - Oneness of Allah), nor of tawheed al-asmaa' was-sifaat (asma was-sifat), so they do not consider worshipping a grave or calling on the dead to be shirk. They may only say, "This is making one's intention for other than Allah, and it is wrong", but they will not say it is shirk.

Some of them say, "Verily these people that call on the dead and seek help from those buried in graveyards are not people of shirk because they do not believe that these dead people or other objects of worship can actually create anything, nor can they provide or control the affairs along with Allah. Since they have not believed that, they are not mushrikoon. These actions are not considered shirk, they have only taken these things as intercessors and intermediaries between them and Allah!!"

These are their sayings, and they are identical to the sayings of the polytheists of old, who said: "We only worship them to get us closer to Allah" [Al Zumur 39:03]
{مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَاإِلَى اللَّـهِ زُلْفَىٰ}
Transliteration: ma naAAbuduhum illa liyuqarriboona ila Allahi zulfa

And Allah says about them: "And they worship other than Allah, things that neither harm them nor benefit them, saying: 'These are our intercessors with Allah'" [Yunus 10:18]
{وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ شُفَعَاؤُنَا عِندَ اللَّـهِ}
Tranliteratoin: WayaAAbudoona min dooni Allahi ma la yadurruhum wala yanfaAAuhum wayaqooloona haolai shufaAAaona AAinda Allahi

The philosophers say, "Verily it is not shirk to worship graves, nor to call on the dead or seek their help. It is merely tawassul (seeking a means to get close to Allah), seeking intercession, and making intermediaries between us and Allah. It is not Shirk unless they believe that these things create, provide, or control the affairs along with Allah!"

This is stated specifically in their books and speeches. The few philosophers who do show any dislike for people falling into this merely say, "This is only a mistake, as these people are ignorant and fell into this mistake due to their ignorance, not intentionally". However the majority of them do not show any contempt for it, rather they say, "This is making intermediaries and intercessors with Allah, it is not shirk." I am not attributing things to people that they have not actually said. These statements are present in their books that refute the people of tawheed and defend the people of shirk.

As for Allah's Names and Attributes, they believe that affirming them would necessitate making Allah like His Creation, so they deny them. They, like the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Ash'arees, and the Maatureediyyah, negate tawheed al-asmaa' was-sifaat (asma was-sifat), thinking to preserve Allah's Glory by not likening Him to His created things. So tawheed with them is limited to tawheed ar-ruboobiyyah (rububiyyah) only, as they have no understanding of tawheed al-uloohiyyah (uluhiyyah), nor any understanding of tawheed al-asmaa' was-sifaat (asma was-sifat).

They despise those who divide tawheed into three categories, so much so that one of their modern day writers wrote, "Dividing tawheed into three categories is something from the Trinity!" Their shamelessness reached this point, that they called this division an imitation of the Christians, and with Allah is the Refuge!

Source: Tawheed and Philosophers
Published in Tawheed (Divine Unity) Sep. 18,2008.
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